Green Festival Speakers
Dr. David Orr
David W. Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Special Assistant to the President of Oberlin College and Executive Director of the Oberlin Project. He is the recipient of seven Honorary degrees and other awards including The Millennium Leadership Award from Global Green, the Bioneers Award, the National Wildlife Federation Leadership Award, a Lyndhurst Prize acknowledging “persons of exceptional moral character, vision, and energy,” and the Santa Monica Library “Pioneer Award for contributions to sustainability literature.” He has been a scholar in residence at
His career as a scholar, teacher, writer, speaker, and entrepreneur spans fields as diverse as environment and politics, environmental education, campus greening, green building, ecological design, and climate change. He is the author of seven books and co-editor of three others. His first book, Ecological Literacy (SUNY, 1992), was described as a “true classic” by Garrett Hardin. A second book, Earth in Mind (1994/2004) is praised by people as diverse as biologist E. O. Wilson and writer, poet, and farmer, Wendell Berry. Both are widely read and used in hundreds of colleges and universities. Hope is an Imperative: The Essential David Orr (
In 1987 he organized studies of energy, water, and materials use on several college campuses that helped to launch the green campus movement. In 1989 Orr organized the first ever conference on the effects of impending climate change on the banking industry. Co-sponsored by then Governor Bill Clinton, the conference featured prominent bankers throughout the mid-South and leading climate scientists including Stephen Schneider and George Woodwell.
In 1996 he organized the effort to design the first substantially green building on a
Orr’s recent political writings appear in, The Last Refuge: Patriotism, Politics, and the Environment in an Age of Terror (Island Press, 2004), and articles such as “The Imminent Demise of the Republican Party” (www.commondreams.org) written in January of 2005.
In an influential article in the Chronicle of Higher Education 2000 Orr proposed the goal of carbon neutrality for colleges and universities and subsequently organized and funded an effort to define a carbon neutral plan for his own campus at Oberlin. Seven years later hundreds of colleges and universities, including Oberlin, have made that pledge.
Recent projects include a two year $1.2 million collaborative project to define a 100 days climate action plan for the Obama administration (www.climateactionproject.com ), and a project with prominent legal scholars across the